North Dakota Veterans Say They Will Not Join DAPL Veteran Protest
Thousands of veterans are expected to create a human shield around protesters at the Dakota Access pipeline beginning this weekend.
North Dakota veterans said they will not be joining them.
A Facebook event has caught the attention of many and it’s inviting veterans to come stand at the Dakota Access pipeline.
“Participating in this kind of assembly, even as a peaceful bystander or participant, will only mar the image of the North Dakota Veterans,” said Russ Stabler, Coordinating Council Chairman of the North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs.
The North Dakota veterans said even being in the area is adding to the conflict that exists and that goes against what they took their oaths for.
“That’s not peaceful protest, that’s a violation of the law,” said Bill Tuff, Coordinating Council Secretary.
“To face what they have identified as their enemy and opposing forces, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department and multiple state police agencies,” said Stabler, referring to a document that lays out the VSSR’s plans.
The North Dakota Veterans hope to meet with “Veterans Stand for Standing Rock”, the group behind the gathering, before the group leaves.
“We have reached out to the veterans asking them to not participate,” Stabler said.
VSSR said in a message to KVRR that they have 2,200 people participating from all 50 states.
The North Dakota veterans say they aren’t aware of any of their members who are participating.
Stabler hopes a meeting with the organizers of Veterans Stand for Standing Rock will change their minds.
“Hopefully, they will respect the wishes of the coordinating council and not go out,” Stabler said.
Congresswoman and veteran Tulsi Gabbard is expected to be joining the group traveling to Standing Rock.